Saturday, September 30, 2006

A Story for Wordsmiths Unltd

Serena had to give herself a shake. She had to get in gear, she’d been sitting in the car reminiscing for over twenty minutes now. She was thinking, among other thoughts, that she should not have put it off for this long. The bulldozers were going to be here is less than two weeks.

But she couldn’t help it. When she came out six months ago with the surveyors, it blind-sided her. She hadn’t expected to be thrown so far, so hard, into the past. Looking over this property brought it all back; "Shucky-ducky, go out to the kitchen and get me a swallow of water, please." Poppy and his silly pet name, she very nearly cried right there in front of the surveyors.

Serena remembered a small house, much like the one before her now. She remembered lying on the bed, listening to the coyotes and being afraid they’d come down from the mountain and eat her and Poppy. He always told her not to worry; coyotes had better things to chew on that one grizzled old man and one talkative little girl.

Serena wondered if the girl who rode the bike, at one time, would be home now. She remembered when she begged Poppy for a bike. He fussed and argued for a bit, saying he couldn’t understand why anybody would want a bike when there were perfectly stout ponies to ride. "Bike won’t do you any good on that raggedy road," he said time and time again. But there, outside, by the hitching post sat the second-hand bike, he’d painted her favorite color, blue, on the morning of her 10th birthday.

On that morning, with the surveyors, and on this morning, with the weight of her task, slowing her down, Serena remembered the good times and the bad. She remembered saying a final goodbye to Poppy only two days after her 18th birthday. She remembered talking with the lawyer who handled Poppy’s affairs; he was polite and all business.

Serena remembered how the attorney handed her a check that more than covered law school, which had been her dream, forever. She remembered how, after graduation she landed a job with Essay, Rives and Knowles, that job landing her here, in front of this little house, outside in her car, shivering from the memories and the thought of the chilly work ahead.

Serena must shake off this sadness, she must get out of this car, walk up to that door and tell the family who has called this house home for the past 25 years that it was time. They must leave. They’ve lost the battle and their home. There will be no more family bar-be-ques in the back yard. There will be no more hikes to the secret spots on the mountain. There will be no grand-children trying to ride the old bike, down the bumpy road.

Serena must do this, she must do this now, because the bulldozers will be here in less than two weeks.

2 comments:

  1. Aw... you got me on thiat one. I didn't think there were going to be people in the house.

    Very nice. Sweet too.

    This line...

    But there, outside, by the hitching post sat the second-hand bike, he’d painted her favorite color, blue, on the morning of her 10th birthday.

    Has some comma trouble, I think.


    Maybe...

    But there, outside by the hitching post, sat the second-hand bike he’d painted her favorite color, blue, on the morning of her 10th birthday.

    Good stuff!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice writing! I was drawn in immediately and wanted to know more about the characters. Are you going to keep the story going?

    ReplyDelete

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